Sharing the bed

Sharing the bed with another person can be a mixed experience: either pleasant, neutral or unpleasant.

Let’s explore the pleasant scenario: Love and warmth of a loving bed partner gives comfort to many. Others like to share their bed with a pet.

Now, let’s explore the unpleasant one: You sleep next to your spouse and they snore, they jerk their legs a lot and they pull the cover off or they sweat at lot. Your sleep is disrupted and you are always feeling tired. You get irritable. This might affect your marriage.

Bed sharing has a historical origin. In the old days of Europe, all family members slept in the same bed. One large bed! Wait, it gets better. Those who offered their “house” as an inn for passing travelers, had the “guest” sleep in the same bed with the family. In the Middle Ages of Europe, the same room served as the bedroom, living room and even the kitchen. It wasn’t till the 1700s that separate rooms for sleeping appeared first with the European aristocracy. It was later that the middle class picked up this favorable sleeping arrangement in their household.

Tips on a better night sleep with a bed partner

  • Share your concerns with your bed partner if he/she is disruptive to your sleep pattern. They might be suffering from similar issues.
  • If you believe your partner has a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea (symptoms of snoring, stops breathing, sleepy during the day), you need to discuss the need to see their doctor to get tested and treated. It is probably a good idea for you to learn about the long and short term consequences of untreated sleep apnea (decreased libido, heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, fatigue) and the treatment options before you talk to your spouse. There might be reluctance on their part to seek help, but with repeated voicing of concern, they will.
  • Share tips for any good sleep habits. Talk to your spouse about the importance of sleeping better and feeling better. A good night of sleep can make you happier, more creative and gives you better skin. A bad night of sleep takes the fun out of life. Take about the pros and cons of sleep/not sleep. Make sleep a topic of conversation.
  • If you have sleep problems, seek help so you and they can sleep better.
  • If your pet moves a lot in bed and wakes you up, try to train them to sleep in your bedroom in a basket beside the bed.